To some, it might seem odd that the Future Farmers of America (FFA) would recognize and reward musical talent. After all, the 85-year-old organization’s stated mission is to “prepare future generations for the challenges of feeding a growing population.”
Yet the organization’s Career Development Events program does spotlight the musical endeavors of its members, as well as other pursuits. Besides awards for swine and goat production, dairy evaluation and tractor driving, the National FFA Organization honors members who excel at such activities as public speaking and crime prevention.
“Everybody stereotypes ag, thinking it’s just cows and plows. If you look at the industry, there are more jobs in the world not directly producing food but manufacturing it, hauling it or marketing,” says Marty Myers, a high school FFA sponsor. “Ag teaches leadership, not just farming and plowing. It tries to get them ready for real life.”
Real life includes finding a balance, and music has always been a part of many farmers’ recreational time. That’s why the FFA at the national and state level holds competitions to help develop and showcase talent and leadership skills.
In 2014, the National FFA Organization is offering $2.1 million in scholarships. AGCO is part of this effort. During the 2013-2014 FFA scholarship year, AGCO and nearly 50 local Challenger®, Massey Ferguson® and Gleaner® dealers will distribute a total of 100 scholarships in the amount of $1,000 each.
This eastern Kansas farmer has more than doubled his ground in 2014, to 4,700 acres, and the rental parcels are as much as 200 miles apart.
“It’s like being in an office on the farm doing business,” says Dustin Edwards of the ride and technology in his MF8660 and MF8690 tractors, and the new MF9540 combine. “The CVT [continuously variable transmission] is awesome. I can literally stop in the field with the in-line ripper in the ground; I don’t even have to lift it out of the soil. When I start up again, the programmed computer just takes over and brings me up to speed, and can [reach] optimum rpm with the CVT. This is the best thing since sliced bread.”
Edwards believes the CVT saves him up to 2 gallons per hour in fuel over a tractor without. “Saving that kind of money just makes you more competitive.”
He’s just as happy, if not more so, with the MF9250 DynaFlex® header. “If I had to go back to an old auger head, I’d quit picking soybeans,” he says. The speed, efficiency and gentleness with which the header did the job so impressed a prospective landlord riding in the combine with Edwards that “it helped get the business. I didn’t even have to push him.”
His relationship with Schuck Equipment of Lawrence, Kan., is a big part of the reason for Edwards’ loyalty. The company is operated by Michael and Miles Schuck, who took over from their father, Howard, who had purchased the dealership in 1969.
For their part, the Schucks consider Edwards’ far-flung operation and increasingly high profile a benefit to their business. “If you’ve ever met Dustin, you’ll know he’s a stranger to no one,” says Miles Schuck. “He talks about what he’s doing and where he gets his equipment, so yeah, there is a benefit.”
The I Love My Farmers Market Celebration kicked off its summer-long event on June 13. Now in its sixth year, the program, sponsored by the American Farmland Trust (AFT), promotes USDA-listed farmers’ markets across the nation. Customers are encouraged to pledge dollars online and to follow through with a commitment to shop at their favorite farmers markets.
According to the AFT, for every $10 spent on local food, as much as $7.80 is re-spent in the local community, supporting local jobs and businesses. During the 2013 I Love My Farmers Market Celebration, a total of $259,690 was pledged to be spent at farmers’ markets, the majority of which the AFT calculates went directly to farmers.
The celebration, which is part of AFT’s No Farms No Food® campaign, helps emphasize “how important it is to put money directly into [farmers’] pockets, to help keep them on the land and to keep their operations viable.”
For more, including how to vote, visit: http://www.myfarmlife.com/first-gear/i-love-my-farmers-market-good-food-good-cause/
Massey Ferguson is delighted to have been awarded a Silver award for its MF 6600 range of tractors at the inaugural IMMA awards at this year’s Cereals event in Cambridgeshire, England.
The IMMAs are a totally new machinery awards scheme that recognises the best new farm equipment on the market today.
This new initiative organised by the Cereals Event and supported by the AEA, The Institution of Agricultural Engineers, The Royal Agricultural University and Farmers Weekly, recognises the very best in agricultural engineering.
The independent panel of judges awarded the honours based on the following criteria – Innovation, cost-effectiveness and value.
The judging panel consisted of a number of high profile names from the world of agriculture: Professor Dick Godwin, Harper Adams University (soils and cultivation); Professor Toby Mottram, Royal Agricultural University (robotics); Peter Redman (IAgrE); Prof Paul Miller, NIAB (sprayer expert); Phillip Clappison, Farmers Weekly Contractor of the Year; Roger Lane-Nott (AEA) and David Cousins, Farmers Weekly.
Massey Ferguson submitted their entry back in April, in a comprehensive application that was co-ordinated by Lindsay Haddon, Advertising and Sales Promotion Manager for Massey Ferguson in the UK and Ireland. The package included not only technical information, but supporting collateral such as video, images and customer testimonial.
The MF 6600 award was highlighted by the following closing statement “Ruggedly powerful engines and intelligent design ensure all models in the MF 6600 range have a high power-to-weight ratio for extraordinary all-round machine ability and agility in all applications. The Massey Ferguson DNA clearly runs through the MF 6600 range, with the same familiar, contemporary styling and a presence that makes every Massey Ferguson tractor stand out from the crowd.”
The judging panel clearly agreed!
The mighty 400hp MF 8737 – Massey Ferguson’s most powerful tractor ever – has stormed into the final of this year’s Tractor of the Year competition.
Packed with an impressive array of features which deliver real benefits to the farmer, the MF 8737 scored well in the preliminary rounds. It’s now set to put up an equally spirited performance as the International Jury make their final decisions in the run-up to EIMA Bologna (November) where the top prize will be awarded.
“Our goal is to win,” claimed Campbell Scott, Massey Ferguson Director Sales Engineering and Brand Development. “This is the strongest of performers and will match anything else out there in this power class. We are now eager to get the machine onto the field and kick-off with the test-drive stage.”